Hooking Up

Sam Richardson and Brittany Snow in Hooking Up
Verdict: 
5/10 – Probably best not to have high expectations of a film with the tagline, “There's more to love than sex.”
Release Date: 
Monday, June 8, 2020
Written by: 

Hooking Up tells the story of a cancer survivor and a sex columnist who are forced to tackle their intimacy issues during an awkward road trip.

6

When you think of classic romcoms, topics like sex addiction and cancer don't tend to crop up all that often.

But with new film Hooking Up, director Nico Raineau and co-writer Lauren Schacher have made an effort to defy the conventions of the genre and attempted to offer up a flick that delves into the complexities of adult relationships in 2020.

The plot follows sex columnist Darla (Brittany Snow), a young woman who has made a career out of writing columns about her scandalous exploits for a lifestyle magazine.

However, after her boss Tanya (Jordana Brewster) catches her hooking up with the office intern, she is fired from her dream job and forced to attend group counselling sessions.

After stumbling around a school while trying to find the location of her weekly meetings, Darla ends up bumping into Bailey (Sam Richardson) and following him into a support group for cancer survivors - where she eventually ends up hearing him speak about his painful breakup from high school sweetheart Elizabeth (Anna Akana) and battle with testicular cancer.

Tapping into Bailey's concerns that he may soon need to have both testicles removed, Darla offers to take him on a cross-country road trip with pitstops at the locations of her past flings, claiming that he could become part of a project assigned to her by a counsellor in order to help her combat her sex addiction.

Of course, she merely wants to go on an adventure with someone she barely knows simply to generate content for her blog.

Despite the far-fetched pretence, Bailey has nothing to lose as a 20-something man offered the opportunity to have mindless sex with a bubbly yet complicated new pal and potentially get the chance to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

 

The plot isn't exactly challenging and Raineau's efforts at defying traditional gender stereotypes yield mixed results.

The script can't decide whether Darla is an advocate of sexual freedom or simply an addict, and while Bailey is characterised as the more emotional figure in the relationship, any time the subject of surgery is broached, it's clear he's anxious about the threat of emasculation.

Sure, some of the pair's sexcapades are pretty funny, especially a tense scenario located within a public airport bathroom, yet most are devised to demonstrate Darla's fear of intimacy.

Pitch Perfect star Snow does a good job of slowly breaking down her character's walls, with her discussions with Bailey in the car allowing her to open up slowly but surely, while a brief visit to her mother's home signals exactly why she has issues with forming meaningful relationships.

And as hard as Raineau tries, Snow and Richardson don't have a whole heap of chemistry, which may be disappointing for romcom fans.

That said, the Veep actor does shine when he is granted his own comedic moments, especially in a moment when he drunkenly addresses his cancer support group.

In spite of its best efforts to switch-up the genre, Hooking Up is rather formulaic in structure, and perhaps even has one of the least inspiring final sequences to ever be included in a film.

But if you can put up with a little nudity and a whole lot of predictability, it makes for an acceptable lazy Saturday afternoon viewing.

Hooking Up is available for digital download from 8 June.

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